Bits and Jigsaw Pieces

Why do we love jigsaw puzzles?

Most of us probably did jigsaw puzzles when we were kids.

When we were very small, we did the ones with little animal shapes or number shapes that dropped into little animal-shaped or number-shaped holes in a piece of brightly coloured wood.

Rupert the Bear, Thomas the Tank Engine and a cast of thousands

When we got a little older, it might have been jigsaws of Rupert the Bear, Thomas the Tank Engine or a host of other characters we loved from books or from the telly.

All chunky pieces and bold bright colours, these puzzles engaged our hands and our minds: we didn’t know it then, but we were being gently nudged into developing some serious hand-eye coordination!

Some of us, by the time we went to ‘big school’, graduated to puzzles with perhaps 200, maybe 500 or even – gasp(!) – 1000 pieces (for the hardcore aficionados).

And then life got in the way

But then, for most of us, life began to get in the way. We grew up. Work, family and responsibilities meant the opportunities to immerse ourselves in a thoroughly good puzzle faded into the middle distance…

COVID-19 and Lock-downs

A leap forward, and so here we are, in these strange 2020 days of COVID-19.

We’re in a world where the words pandemic and lock-down make it into ‘most popular words of the year’ lists (though we think popular is hardly the correct classification!).

Like it or not, we’re at home more than we used to be; our regular rhythms, our routines, are all out of kilter; we could all do with some pleasant distractions…some puzzles perhaps?

Missing each other

With all of our current restrictions, we’re apart from friends, family and loved ones far more than we’d like.

Getting together for a coffee, for a natter, for a special occasion, is often difficult, sometimes next to impossible.

Yes, we can still text; we can still email; we can still zoom (but don’t you think zoom can get a bit awkward sometimes?); and some of us, of an old-school persuasion, can even write letters.

But, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a different way, a better way, to stay in touch, to let our special people know they’re in our thoughts, to let them know we miss them?

Jigsaws can be the missing piece(s)

Message Box wooden jigsaw piece

We’ve had an idea that’s a mix of the new and the nostalgic, a throwback to days gone by, to sunnier days when we sat and simply did a jigsaw.

No matter how you’ve stumbled upon these meanderings, you’ve probably gathered by now that we make jigsaws: little ones, wooden ones, but we think very special ones.

Now, the funny thing is, these jigsaws are not really for you – they are for you to give to other people! Let us explain:

We’ve had an idea that’s a mix of the new and the nostalgic, a throwback to days gone by, to sunnier days when we sat and simply did a jigsaw.

No matter how you’ve stumbled upon these meanderings, you’ve probably gathered by now that we make jigsaws: little ones, wooden ones, but we think very special ones.

Now, the funny thing is, these jigsaws are not really for you – they are for you to give to other people! Let us explain:

Why so special?

We make our jigsaws to help you stay connected with friends and family in a charming, thoughtful, occasionally unexpected and always delightful way.

The Message Box jigsaw you create and send to them is totally unique: they’ll never have seen it in the shops – even assuming they could get to the shops in the first place! It’s a one-off; it’s yours; and it’s theirs.

Our website galleries are full of bright and colourful images, suitable for every occasion.

These puzzles spring into life when your special message is added to them, making the 25-piece wooden gifts a delight to handle and assemble.

Logical and creative. One brain; two sides

Jigsaws – no matter what their size or complexity – engage both sides of our brains, the logical side and the creative side.

The logical side, the left, helps us fit the pieces together, and the creative side, the right, has us visualising, imagining, the completed puzzle.

Not much of a challenge

Wait a minute. A twenty-five piece jigsaw for a grown-up? You’re kidding, aren’t you? That’s too easy!

Yes, the puzzles we make may only have 25 pieces, but they come with no guide, no picture or other aid to completion. The person you send your jigsaw to starts from scratch…

It’s the experience that counts

Imagine yourself in their shoes for a moment: they open a colourful purple and green cube of a gift box.

Inside, sitting on top of a nest of green shredded tissue paper is a gift card.

The card tells them this gift has come from you and that they have a puzzle to make…

And now the rummage begins: hidden within the box are 25 wooden jigsaw pieces, ready to be rescued, recovered and assembled.

They start by finding the corner pieces; then the side pieces with straight edges...

Before long the puzzle – with your personal message – starts to form before their very eyes.

Imagine their delight when the puzzle is complete and your message is revealed…

Message Box jigsaw gift box

Help them de-stress and make them smile

The quiet and tactile experience of picking up and handling solid jigsaw pieces, holding them, turning them and then placing them brings with it a gentle concentration that helps reduce stress.

The time it takes for most people to make one of our 25-piece puzzles is just right. It’s short enough to intrigue, interesting enough to engage, and personal enough to delight.

And let’s face it, in these strange times, being intrigued, engaged and delighted in turn sounds quite an appealing prospect...

Michael O'SullivanEditor